STATEMENT OF THE G77 AND CHINA AT THE TWENTY-FOURTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 18-22 MAY 2015 DELIVERED BY H.E. ARMIN ANDEREYA, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CHILE
Vienna, 18 MAY 2015
1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, let me convey my congratulations on your election as Chair of the 24th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), as well as to the other members of the Bureau. You can count on the full support of the Group for the successful conclusion of this meeting.
2. The Group also extends its thanks to the Secretariat for the excellent work done in preparation of this session.
3. At the outset, the Group wishes to thank the State of Qatar for the excellent organization of the 13th Crime Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice where we discussed a wide range of issues concerning crime prevention and criminal justice. Now we have to take the necessary steps to make the Doha Declaration operational.
4. The Group also wishes to express support for the draft resolution submitted by the State of Qatar to the 24th session of the CCPCJ and co-sponsored by other Member States on the follow-up to the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
5. The Group underscores the important role played by the United Nations Congresses on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in strengthening high-level political will and the commitment of Member States in promoting international cooperation by facilitating exchange of views and experience, mobilizing public opinion and recommending policy options at the national and regional level in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice. The Group also recognizes the work performed by the United Nations programme network institutes in support of the 13th UN Congress in Doha.
6. The Group reiterates the cross-cutting nature of crime prevention and criminal justice issues and the need to integrate those issues into the wider agenda of the United Nations in order to enhance system-wide coordination, as well as to address social and economic challenges and to promote the rule of law at the national and international levels, and public participation.
7. The Group acknowledges that sustainable development and the rule of law are strongly interrelated and mutually reinforcing. In this regard, the Group welcomes the ongoing inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process for the post-2015 development agenda, and the integration of sustainable development goals into this agenda.
8. The Group reaffirms its commitment towards the objectives set forth by the Doha Declaration. In this endeavor, capacity-building support and the provision of adequate, long-term, sustainable, effective and demand driven technical assistance are of high importance, in collaboration with UNODC as an essential partner for the achievement of the provisions of this Declaration. In this regard, sufficient, stable and predictable funding is necessary.
9. The Group takes note with satisfaction of the increasing number of ratifications of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the three international drug control conventions as well as the international conventions and protocols related to countering terrorism, which reflect the collective commitment of Member States to promote cooperation in combating transnational organized crime, corruption, terrorism and illicit drug related activities. Furthermore, the Group urges all Member States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying or acceding to the above mentioned instruments.
10. The Group further reaffirms the need to enhance bilateral, regional and international cooperation in criminal matters aimed at preventing and combating transnational organized crime, corruption and terrorism, including issues related to extradition and mutual legal assistance, and calls upon Member States to adopt practical approaches that would facilitate such cooperation.
11. The Group underlines the need for greater international cooperation to effectively prevent and counter money-laundering and enhance measures for the identification, tracing, freezing, seizure and recovery of the proceeds of crime, including money and other assets that have not been accounted for and that are found in safe havens, for the purpose of their eventual confiscation.
12. The Group strongly calls the attention regarding the necessity to a full and effective implementation of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Any strategy to combat trafficking in persons should be comprehensive and integrated, taking into account the dimensions of prevention and effective law enforcement against this new form of slavery, as well as assistance to the victims, especially for the groups in vulnerable situation such as women and children. In this context, due attention must be given to issues relating to trafficking in persons for the purpose of removal of organs, begging and recruitment for armed conflict, to strengthen international cooperation and to address issues pertaining to supply and demand as well as awareness-raising. The Group also welcomes the 2014 report on trafficking in persons, and calls upon all members to effectively tackle this issue.
13. The Group expresses concern over the constant violation of the rights of migrants and urges the international community to ensure that the human rights of smuggled migrants, particularly the unaccompanied children, are respected and that the safety and security of smuggled migrants are granted utmost priority regardless of their immigration status, nationality, gender, ethnicity, age or religion. In this connection, we strongly encourage all States Parties to avoid making migrants liable to criminal prosecution for having been the object of conduct set in Article 6 of the Protocol. At the same time, when conducting investigations related to migrant smuggling cases, especial attention must be given to ensure an appropriate balance in investigating smugglers and migrants. To that effect, risks should be constantly assessed prior to and during investigations according to the recommendations of the third meeting of the Working Group on Smuggling of Migrants held in November 2013.
14. With reference to the trafficking on firearms the Group reaffirms its concerns about the continuing problem of illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts, components and ammunition as another manifestation of transnational organized crime. Traffickers have developed global networks that must be tackled through international cooperation. The Group takes note of the work carried out through various regional organizations. In this sense, the Group encourages the continuation of UNODC’s “Study of the transnational nature of and routes used in trafficking in firearms”, in collaboration with Member States.
15. Regarding the UNCAC, the Group welcomes the progress made by States in implementing the Convention, including, inter alia, through the mechanism for the review of implementation of the UNCAC. The Group also looks forward to the commencement of the second review cycle of the Review of Implementation of the UNCAC, which will focus on the review of implementation of Chapters II and V of the Convention and looks forward to the next Conference, which will be held in St. Petersburg in November 2015.
16. Furthermore, the Group calls on the necessity to take urgent measures to prevent, prosecute and punish corruption, as well as the transfer abroad and laundering of assets derived from corruption and insists on the need to strengthen cooperation for their identification, freezing and seizure, as well as to speed up their recovery and return in accordance with Chapter V of the United Nations Convention against corruption.
17. The Group acknowledges the increasing links between transnational organized crime and other illicit activities, in particular drug trafficking and money laundering and, in some cases, terrorism and its financing, and reaffirms the need for enhancing bilateral, regional and international cooperation in the area of exchange of information, extradition and mutual legal assistance, in accordance with domestic legislation and with the aim to contributing to countering the threat posed by transnational organized crime.
18. On the issue of preventing and countering terrorism, the Group notes with concern that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including terrorist financing through, inter alia, kidnapping for ransom, and the threat posed by the foreign terrorist fighters phenomenon remain a major challenge in many parts of the world, with its attendant loss of lives and other resources as well as damages to the religious and cultural sites. The Group reaffirms that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, civilization, nationality or ethnic group, and reiterates that all efforts to counter it should be in line with international law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, international human rights law, refugee and humanitarian law.
19. The Group highlights the importance of the existing universal legal instruments for the prevention and countering of terrorism and calls upon Member States and UNODC within its mandate, to continue to assist requesting Member States with technical assistance to build capacity for the ratification and implementation of such instruments, including through the development of targeted training programmes, in consultation with Member States, in order to effectively respond to the new strategies employed by terrorists.
20. The Group also calls upon Member States to strengthen cooperation at international, regional, sub-regional and bilateral levels including, inter alia, through sharing good practices, exchange of information and logistical support including on the new strategies employed by terrorists, training and counterterrorism experts, as well as facilitate conclusions of MoUs and other forms of arrangements in preventing and countering terrorism activities.
21. The Group underlines the importance of predictable, effective and sustainable technical and financial assistance to Member States, upon request, in order to enhance their capacity to effectively counter transnational organized crime, corruption, and terrorism while ensuring their ownership of such activities. The Group also highlights the importance of international cooperation, including South-South, to enhance capabilities of Member States to implement crime prevention and criminal justice programmes.
22. The Group attaches great importance to the United Nations Standards and Norms in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, including their review and update, where necessary, in order to respond adequately and effectively to the changing nature of crime. In this context, the Group welcomes the work of the open-ended intergovernmental expert group on the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and looks forward to the consideration of the revised rules by this Commission. The Group also welcomes the rightful tribute of naming the revised rules as Mandela Rules.
23. The Group considers that the application of restorative justice programmes can be a useful complementary mechanism to the ordinary criminal justice system to promote rehabilitation and social reintegration of the offender, and in particular for juvenile offenders.
24. The Group also takes note with appreciation of the outcome and practical recommendations of the open-ended intergovernmental expert group on gender-related killing of women and girls, hosted by Thailand in November 2014, and looks forward to its consideration by the Commission. The Group also reiterates the importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective into national criminal justice systems, as well as of promoting gender specific measures as an integral part of policies on crime prevention, criminal justice and the treatment of offenders.
25. The Group calls upon all Member States to integrate children’s perspective into crime prevention policies and the overall rule of law efforts, and to develop and implement a comprehensive crime prevention and justice system policy, with a view to preventing the involvement of children in criminal activities, promoting the use of alternative measures to incarceration, such as diversion and restorative justice, adopting reintegration strategies for former child offenders and complying with the principle that deprivation of liberty of children should be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, as well as to avoid, wherever possible, the use of pretrial detention for children as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.
26. The Group would like to underscore the importance of the challenges posed by emerging forms of crime that have a significant impact on the environment, such as trafficking in wildlife, including flora and fauna as protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, timber and timber products, illegal mining, illegal fishing, hazardous waste, as well as poaching, by strengthening legislation, international cooperation, capacity-building, criminal justice responses and law enforcement efforts aimed at, inter alia, dealing with transnational organized crime, corruption and money-laundering linked to such crimes.
27. The Group would like to reiterate its concern on the emerging trends in the criminal activities in the urban settings in some parts of the world. In this regard, we consider that further research on the links between urban crime and other manifestations of organized crime in some countries and regions, including crimes committed by gangs, must be conducted as well as to exchange experiences in and information on effective crime prevention and criminal justice programmes and policies among Member States and with relevant international and regional organizations.
28. The Group wishes to express its particular concern for the illicit trafficking of cultural property and related offences, including the involvement of organized criminal groups, which continues to inflict increasing damage to the cultural heritage of our nations, and thus, to part of our identities.
29. In this sense, the Group underlines the need to promote international cooperation to combat such crime in a concerted manner and welcomes the adoption of the International Guidelines on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses with Respect to Trafficking in Cultural Property. Those Guidelines represent a useful framework to guide Member States in the development and strengthening of their criminal justice policies, strategies, legislation and cooperation mechanisms in the area of protection against trafficking in cultural property and other related offences. The Group believes that the applicability and usefulness of the Guidelines, as well as the efficiency and sufficiency of the international legal instruments in this field should be continuously reviewed and, if needed, modified accordingly.
30. The Group expresses its serious concern over cybercrime, including recently emerging trends, and attaches great importance to the work of the open-ended intergovernmental expert group to conduct a comprehensive study of the problem of cybercrime and welcomes the Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime that examined the problem at the national, sub-regional, regional and international levels. The Group calls upon the Commission to take further steps, through the open-ended intergovernmental expert group to continue examining the problem of cybercrime and the responses to it, for enhanced international cooperation, proposes new national and international legal responses to tackle this problem, on the basis of the above comprehensive study on cybercrime.
31. The Group expresses its serious concern over any form of ranking of Member States for the purposes of international cooperation in criminal matters, in countering, inter alia, trafficking in persons, terrorism financing, money laundering, trafficking in firearms, migrant smuggling and other forms of organized crime as well as corruption. In this sense, it calls upon all Member States as well as other relevant regional and international organizations to avoid such rankings and unilateral actions and sanctions that might weaken the international cooperation framework and Member States capabilities to fight against such crimes.
32. The Group of 77 recognizes the positive role played by the intergovernmental working group to improve the governance and financial situation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (FINGOV) as an appropriate forum for a fruitful dialogue on UNODC's programme development and implementation. In this regard, the Group commends the leadership of the Co-chairs of the Working Group, H.E. Ambassador Reza Najafi, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Mr. Ignacio Baylina of Spain.
33. The Group looks forward to the extension of the mandate of the Working Group and reaffirms its commitment to contribute to its task. The Group believes that Member States and the Secretariat must continue to discuss ways on addressing the persistent unpredictable and constrained financial situation of the UNODC, as well the need to ensure UNODC’s delivery capacity and the sustainability of its thematic, global and regional programmes.
34. The Group also welcomes the preparation by the Secretariat of a report on the implementation of resolutions and decisions relating to crime prevention and criminal justice adopted since 2012. This report provides useful information on which areas it is necessary to take further steps.
35. The Group welcomes the inclusion in the agenda of the 24th session of the CCPCJ an item referred to Staff composition of the United Nations on Drugs and Crime and other related matters and expresses concern that geographical representation from developing countries and gender balance, especially at the senior and policy-making levels, are inadequate and adversely affect the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity of the UNODC.
36. Therefore, the Group urges the Executive Director to intensify his efforts to ensure that adequate, and proper equitable geographical distribution and gender balance are fully incorporated, as principles, in the recruitment policy of UNODC, both at headquarters and its Field Offices, particularly at the senior and policy-making levels and for professional posts requiring specific skills.
37. Finally, the G-77 and China considers that this question should remain as a standing separate agenda item of this Commission and urges the Secretariat to engage in an open and transparent dialogue, providing disaggregated information as requested by our Group.